Ebonyi state governor, Dr David Umahi, has said he will continue to fight against marginalisation of his people from their sister States in the south-east.
According to Gov Umahi who insisted that Ebonyi as a state should be treated with equity the same way Anambra, Enugu, and Abia are been treated when decisions that concerns Igbos, in general, are been taken, said he had nothing against Peter Obi becoming the presidential candidate Atiku Abubakar’s running mate in the forthcoming general election.
”If we are going to vote, we must be treated with equity. These are the issues; two names came from Anambra, one from Enugu and one from Abia.
“So, what is wrong in having someone from Ebonyi and then one from Imo?
“These are the issues but they are not as terrible as it is being looked at. I know that my people put me on social media talking so many things about me but it doesn’t move me.
“We have never said that Obi is not good for us, we have nothing against Obi, but we want to be part of the decision when a decision that concerns us is being taken”.
“Number two, the five names for VP should have been five names from the five south-east states but there was no name from Ebonyi and Imo states, but of course, no governors in south-east wants to be Vice President; everybody wants to finish his tenure.
“We must sit down with the presidential candidate and say look if we work together, we must be part of the decision making. I am not talking about myself, I am talking about the leadership of the south east.
“If six people can come from other regions to take a decision and there is nobody from south east and our people think is right, so be it.
“Nobody is against Obi. The leaders of Ndigbo are saying that when decisions are taken and you invite people from other regions, invite people from south east. They never issued any statement and anybody from south east that is saying that my stand is not good is not a human being because tomorrow is bigger than today.
“If Atiku had just announced his running mate without other people from other regions seeing the lists and making inputs or choices, we wouldn’t have been bothered because nobody chooses a VP for anybody; it is like a wife. But if other people were there, at least one person from south east should have been there. Two, in fact. Ebonyi state shouldn’t have been neglected even if we will not make the list because the choice is for the man”.
Gov Umahi further explained that the fear of continuous marginalisation will continue to push Ebonyi people not be comfortable towards the region.
“You remember that one of the reasons that Ebonyi is not too comfortable with the issue of region is that we are afraid of further marginalisation. So, these are the issues. Obi is my friend. You would have seen our pictures on social media. Yes, he is my good friend and we have worked together very very well and he said to me ‘if I were you, I will be more bitter, I will make greater noise than you are making’.
“Obi understands, and let me give you one shocking news! I was told in the course of our meeting in Enugu that somebody asked Chekwas Okorie that why is it that Igbos don’t vote for their Vice Presidential candidates and Chekwas told him that any day the Igbo man chooses his Vice Presidential candidate, the Igbo man will vote for the Vice presidential candidate and if you check, be it Ekwueme or any other, you will find out that we have never voted along that line”, he stated
Meanwhile, a coalition of Igbo Youth Organisation namely, World Igbo Youth Congress, Ohanaeze Youth Council and Igbo Students Youth Forum, have described Governor Umahi early stands on Atiku chosen running mate candidate as a stab in the back and demand that governor David Umahi should tender an unreserved apology to the Igbos, the presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Alhaji Atiku Abubakar and the party at large.
The leaders of the groups including Mazi Okechukwu Isiguzo who stood for Ohanaeze Youth Council, Mazi Alex Okemiri for World Igbo Youth Congress and Mr Chidera Udutcha as national president for Igbo Students Youth Forum, respectively made their feelings known in a joint press briefing in Abakaliki.
“And it is not in our culture as a humane tribe to cajole and batter our collective goal which for years we have been struggling to build. And that is why we resolved to let the people of Igbo nation, both in Nigeria and those outside to know that the statement of Ebonyi state governor, Engr. David Umahi against Mr. Peter Obi, the immediate past governor of Anambra state as the running mate of PDP Presidential candidate for 2019 is uncalled for.
“As a matter of fact, we considered it a disdain and a great stab in our political struggle to move ahead from where we are to a better form.
“So Umahi who as we learnt was lured to make such unholy statement against Mr. Peter Obi must tender an unreserved apology to PDP, Atiku Abubakar and to the Igbo nation in general and failure to do that, he will invoke our deity “The Great Amadioha” against him. He who have ears, let him hear.
“The Owelle of Onitsha, late Dr. Nnamdi Azikiwe humbled the late Chief Chuba Okadigbo in the eighties when his rising political ambition was webbed in his selfishness by our deity.
“Also, late Akanbi Onitiri, R.B.K Okafor who in second republic disdained late Dr. Nnamdi Azikwe but paid dearly for it”, the group stated.
The group further charged stakeholders from the zone to remain resolute in positive political course for people and Nigeria in general.
The group which condemned wholly, the alleged statement of governor Umahi, expressed hope that Nigeria and the people of the south east would be better fed if Alhaji Atiku emerged victorious in 2019 presidential poll.
“Umahi has demonstrated his political greed, selfishness, and hatred for the common goal of the Ndigbo”, the group noted.